What to Drink on July 4th
This Independence Day, you're going to throw the best party ever. We're certain of it—you'll cook awesome burgers on the grill and whip up some excellent sides, and you've assigned your guests to come bearing pie and ice cream, too. (Hey, there's no need to do everything yourself!) All that's left is finding something refreshing to wash it all down. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Drink Red, White, and Blue
If you're looking to color-coordinate your drinks for the occasion, rosy red cocktails are the easiest to find. Our current favorite: the Frozen Negroni. Just be careful: it may look harmless and icy-cool, but it packs a serious alcohol punch. Celebrating strawberry season? Set up a station for your guests to make their own Strawberry-Balsamic Tequila Sours. If you've never tried grilled fruit, start with cherries in this Grilled Summer Smash. Or get sparkly with cider and pomegranate with a Pom Pomme.
Bending the color rules a little? We think you could get away with this sherry-based white sangria. The crisp and light Santa Carla (made with tequila, fresh lemon, sparkling water and grapefruit bitters) is also more clear than white, but it's so refreshing that we're sure your guests won't mind.
Big Party = Big Pitchers
Your hosting duties will be much easier if you prep all your drinks in big batches ahead of time. But that doesn't mean you're stuck with something boring. If you're a fan of tonic but tired of the classic gin highball, try our Hibiscus Tequila Cooler or the Bitter Salty Perro, made with grapefruit juice and mezcal.
We're always big fans of sangria—try our recipes for festive Starfruit Sangria, or get fizzy with Sparkling Grapefruit Sangria made with Lillet Rosé. Loving stone fruit season? Go for Plum Sangria or White Peach Sangria. It's not summer without watermelon, so put some in your blender to make our Fresh Watermelon Sangria. Fans of big and bold flavors will like this Campari-laced version.
Looking an even easier option? For The Bul, all you need is your favorite ginger beer, some pilsner or pale ale, and a little fresh lime juice. The result will keep you refreshed all day.
Beer and Wine
July 4th is a great time to support local producers of beer and wine. Head to your local brewery and get a growler to go (if that's allowed in your state), or stop by your neighborhood beer shop to pick up a sixpack of whatever's fresh and brewed near you.
Looking for style tips? Check out our complete guide to pairing beer with grilled food.
When it comes to wine, grab some of these under-$20 favorites. Given the warm weather, you should definitely consider chilled reds—a few moments in an ice bucket can do wonders for making that Pinot Noir (or Gamay, or Zinfandel, or Barbera) more refreshing while it stands up to your epic bacon burgers.
There are booze-free drinks beyond lemonade and limeade, of course. An old-fashioned chocolate phosphate soda will please kids and adults alike. Tangy rhubarb and spicy ginger beer come together in this excellent pitcher drink. And honeydew is wonderful in this agua fresca.
Want to offer a caffeinated pick-me-up? Make sun tea...in your fridge. It turns out that tea brewed in the cool temperature of your refrigerator tastes leaner, fresher, and more balanced than the tea you leave out to brew in the sun. Considering iced coffee? Here's what we learned from our blind taste test: If your guests are likely to enjoy it without milk, go with pour-over directly onto ice. If you're going to add milk, then you can go with cold brew or brew hot and leave it in the fridge overnight.